Many homeowners consider hardwood flooring installation as a daunting task. It is also true that not all DIYers are up to the challenge. A stunning hardwood floor is the consequence of careful planning and a few crucial know-how. The information provided below is not meant to serve as a guide for the installation of hardwood flooring but how to stay away from the common pitfalls. If you are among the brave souls who plan to undertake this project, here are five tips to help ensure your success.
Inspect Your Subfloor
In case your subfloor is in a bad state, putting down hardwoods will not help. You have to have a level subfloor, and any alterations in the height must be no more than 3/6” over a 6’ span. There are a few different methods to level out your subfloor. The simplest case happens when OSB or plywood is not anchored down extremely well and the addition of a handful of screws will address the problem. More serious measures include planing the joints or perhaps the installation of another layer of plywood with the right filler to accomplish uniformity.
Acclimate The Wood
Increased moisture makes the wood expand while less moisture lets it contract. This is referred to as wood movement. It is crucial for hardwoods to acclimate in the area where they will be installed. Wood that’s not fully acclimated will lead to gaps during the winter and may even cause cupping during the summer season. To prevent this from happening, open and distribute the boxes for a week and make sure that you run the air conditioning unit or heating system at normal levels. Do not store the hardwoods in an unfinished environment or any similar setting that is rich in moisture.
Even after the appropriate acclimation, the wood will contract and expand as moisture levels alter. That is why it is a must to leave around ¼” gap around the perimeter of the area where you will be installing the hardwood floors. Don’t worry because this will be covered with a baseboard and molding. In case moisture is the primary problem in your area, you need to think about installing engineered wood since they do not usually require acclimation.
The first Row Needs To Be Straight
It is extremely important for the first row of North Myrtle Beach hardwood floor to be straight upon installation since each row after will be placed relative to it. If the first row is crooked, it will lead to huge curves once you move on through the area. Exterior walls are usually not square so think about marking the locations of your joists and set up the hardwoods perpendicular. Be sure that you drive a fastener into the joist at every opportunity. Think about what hindrances are present and how varying starting points can make your job much easier.
Top Nail, Glue The Boards
You will come across situations wherein the flooring nailer won’t fit such as when you are laying the final board. You need to face nail or top nail these boards. Get your wood glue and add in a bead into the groove of the last board. Use a pry bar and a scrap wood to wedge these boards securely in their proper place. Don’t forget to hold the finish nailer with enough force so it won’t jump around and mar the board’s surface.
Rent or Buy The Correct Tools
Don’t fool yourself that you can create rip cuts using a jigsaw or that you do not really require a pneumatic flooring nailer. Having the correct hardwood flooring installation tools is going to make your job a lot easier and the completed product look much better.
All these are unique challenges in every hardwood flooring installation project. Hopefully, the above tips can help you in addressing some of them. With the right planning, preparation, and a great start, you will be rolling along in a short period of time.
Call NMB Flooring Pros if you need in installing your hardwood floors.
NMB Flooring Pros
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582